Wednesday, June 19, 2024

Otago council boosts bus security in wake of teen’s death

Otago Regional Council Chair, Gretchen Robertson, has expressed the organisation’s deepest sympathies in the wake of the fatal stabbing of a 16-year-old boy at a Dunedin bus stop on Thursday.

“Our thoughts and deepest sympathies go out to the family, and all those impacted following this tragedy,” said Chair Robertson.

“We would like to reassure people who need to use the hub and bus services this morning that the Bus Hub is open and, aside from a diversion for Bus Stop B, which is closed, it is safe for the public to continue to catch buses.”

Alongside Police, the Council has increased security at the bus hub to provide for extra security staff at the hub over the weekend.

Public transport in Dunedin caters to around 13,500 passenger trips per day on average in Dunedin.

“We acknowledge this is a serious incident and tragedy, and that it impacts people’s trust and confidence. We continue to urge people to have confidence in the safety of our bus system, however, acknowledge terrible incidents such as the loss of a young person does impact on people, and we’ll work hard to address that,” said Chair Robertson.

Otago Regional Council is working with Dunedin City Council to increase security at the hub today, over the weekend, and into the evening hours.

“It’s vital that we revisit current arrangements and all security requirements alongside DCC and Police, and this will happen in the days and weeks ahead.”

She said Council staff were at the bus hub this morning in a supporting role to guide people to where they can connect with two services impacted by the closure of Bus Stop B, which is closed today out of respect for yesterday’s tragic incident.

The Council says it has increased security in and around bus services in recent years, in light of concerns about behaviour both on the buses and at the hub. It also voted to continue funding a security trial to 30 June 2024, at a cost of $126,000.

Police continue to ask anyone who witnessed the incident or took photos or video footage to get in touch with Dunedin Police via 105, quoting file number 240523/3321.

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